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Rethinking politics in Africa

How events in Zimbabwe expose the false assumptions that inform explanations of developments on this continent

THE LAST WORD | Andrew M. Mwenda | There is a widespread assumption that presidents in Africa who rule for long do so out of personal greed for power. This accusation has been made against Robert Mugabe who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 before he was forced to resign recently. It is also the accusation against President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda as the ruling party seeks to amend the constitution and remove age limits so that he can run for the presidency in 2021. Yet when individual cases are examined closely, one finds the reality much more complex and nuanced. Let me illustrate.

In August 2008, while attending the Australian Davos Connection conference on the Hamilton Islands in the Pacific Ocean, I met a man called David Coltart. He was a legislator representing the Movement for Multiparty Democracy in Zimbabwe led by Morgan Tsvangirai. We were invited to a private dinner with the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd and two other people.

Coltart told us that in the March 2008 presidential elections in Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai got 50.7% while President Robert Mugabe got 43.2%. Even before the results were officially announced, Mugabe sent a team to discuss a transition with the MDC. The two sides met for two days. On the third day the MDC team went to the venue but the government side did not show up.

They tried to reach their counterparts by phone in vain. Later they learnt that the top brass of the ZANU-PF and the security services led by Emmerson Mnangagwa (who had led Mugabe’s campaign), which also included army chief, Gen. Constantino Chiwenga, went to Mugabe and asked him why he was “abandoning them.” Mugabe told them he was not abandoning them. He said they had simply lost an election. No problem, they told Mugabe; we can change the results. And they did.

When the results finally were announced after a month, Tsvangirai had 47.9 against Mugabe’s 43.2%. This called for a second round. The state unleashed such violence and terror against the MDC that Tsvangirai pulled out leaving Mugabe to run alone and win by 85.5%. Mnangagwa was accused of orchestrating the violence.

This story is instructive. It shows that Mugabe’s confederates in ZANU-PF and the security services saw his conceding electoral defeat and handing power to a victorious opposition as betrayal. In agreeing to hold on to power, Mugabe was actually acting more out of group than personal interest.

This screengrab from Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) taken on November 16, 2017, shows Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (2R) as he poses alongside Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga (R) and South African envoys after the army took power. 

Secondly Mnangagwa, together with Chiwenga are today hailed as the new messiahs who ended Mugabe’s long rule. Yet they were the ones responsible for stifling a democratic transition in 2008. Indeed, Mugabe was more as a hostage of their power than its architect. And when he sought to initiate a transition to a young generation using his wife, they kicked him out.

Therefore, the celebration of Mugabe’s fall by many Zimbabweans, African elites and the Western media is misinformed. Mnangagwa and his conspirators do not represent a transition of power but maintenance of the status quo. Paradoxically, Mrs Grace Mugabe and her confederates in the G40 represented some form of a transition from the old guard in ZANU-PF.

The coup makers made it clear that their aim was to protect the power and privileges of the ZAPU-PF old guard. The Western media welcomed this non-transition because now they can bribe Mnangagwa with “aid” and removal of economic sanctions so that he can return property confiscated from whites or compensate them. The price will be to hand that country back to multinational capital, not to the people of Zimbabwe.

The lesson is that there are often more complex social dynamics behind political decisions in Africa. Yet most of our commentary tends to reduce such decisions to “personal greed” by presidents. We accuse our leaders of personalising power yet it is us personalising political decisions. We are too lazy and biased to dig beneath the surface and see the actual dynamics shaping our politics. Most of what we have is not knowledge but prejudice; and what goes for analysis is mere speculation.

African academics, politicians and journalists write very few, if any, books. And when we do, we use concepts, adjectives and tropes borrowed from Western academics and journalists who write about Africa. Yet these Westerners rely largely on their prejudices to write about Africa. Thus, even when we have facts, we don’t use them properly to explain why a particular decision in an African country was made.

All too often when analysing politics in Africa, we speculate about “what must have happened” instead of relying on “what actually happened”. Preconceived biases about leaders in Africa become a substitute for knowledge. Hence, existing “knowledge” about African leaders clouds rather than illuminates our understanding of the continent’s politics.

This is not to say leaders in Africa are not power hungry. Rather it is to argue that their individual preferences play a much more limited role compared to the collective interests of the groups they represent. And while our leaders make mistakes, these mistakes when carefully examined, are rarely stupid. It is easy to imagine that we or our preferred politicians would not have acted differently. This is rarely true. When examined closely, political leaders are rarely free actors. Their decisions are imposed upon them more by circumstances than by their personalities.

Look, postcolonial Africa has had 278 changes of leaders. Almost all of them – whether democratically elected politician, nationalist leader for independence, revolutionary hero of an armed struggle, an upstart hoisted to power by a popular insurrection, a military coup maker or peaceful successor to the death of an incumbent president – has come to power promising democracy, honest government and development. Nearly all our countries are still poor and corrupt today. Africa has not produced a South Korea.

If only 20% of our countries for 20% of the time were characterised by poor performance, we would say Africa has a political problem. If 40-50% of our countries for 40-50% of the time performed poorly, we could say Africa has a serious political crisis. But when 80-90% of our nations for 80-90% of the time perform badly, and when these problems remain in spite of 278 changes of leaders over a period of 60 years, and seem impervious to changing political systems, means of acquiring power etc., then the causes must have deep structural roots. We need to begin an entirely new conversation about politics in Africa. It is time to break the chains of the intellectual diet we have been fed about it.

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amwenda@independent.co.ug

33 comments

  1. LIKE I have said on several occasions, when I read M 9s articles I do not know whether to laugh or to cry.

    I have said it more than once that M 9 uses statistics to give this impression that he knows what he is talking about, yet in reality I do not think that he even understands what these statistics or figures mean or how they were arrived at.

    In this article for instance, he is at his pet subject once again, African intellectuals whom he berates for their lack of insight and analysis, trying effectively to say that HE, MWENDA, is the only person who does critical analysis and understands AFRICAN issues.

    How then , does someone like you, who today, using those figures and statistics quote the figure of 278 as the number of different heads of state since independence (20% of 20 %…….40-50%…….40-50%….80-90% ……..278 changes………60 years…..)

    You quoted the same figure of 278 in your article of 4th Sept, and then again in another article of the 16th Oct and now on the 11th November, never mind that there was a change of head of state in ANGOLA on the 26th of September and in ZIMBABWE after the 16 th OCTOBER.

    So regardless of how many more changes of leaders we are going to have your figure is going to remain 278

    And you want to call yourself a critical person and an intellectual when you can not update your own facts.

    I REST MY CASE..

    • My friend I do not think M9 is the problem. You are the problem. Take ur time and read into the facts and properly digest them. The decisions political leaders make are circumstantial not personal and part of the reason for this are interests from external forces.

      Secondly which facts are you deconstesting? Isn’t it true that we have fewer books written on our nations history than the werstern counterparts? History is a very relevant subject in order to understand the present and plan for the future. History as a subject should never be despised and if we have very few recorded history then that’s a demerit to us all. In order to accurately understand the biology of a cat we must study a cat not a dog, therefore inirder for us to properly understand the social dynamics of our society we must be well versed with African history not just western history.

      Therefore I urge to properly revise your comments. If u hold ur opinions to be enterely true then this is the very reason why sometimes those who are in power are forced to stay on, for why would they hand over power to people like you who can not separate theory from reality and facts from fiction?

      • Mandela, the concern of everyone is best illustrated by Abraham Maslow’s pyramid of needs. I assume you know it. The quarrel is not complicated at all. People just want to live a life of minimum lack even if it costs them maximum work. These leaders have miserably failed to deliver but just lie. Noone wants heaven on earth when they are adults but they want forward moving. If you are Ugandan, you know the Crested crane on the flag. Its one leg is up…. meaning progress forward. Like martin Luther King said:
        “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward for God’s sake”
        That is the quarrel ejakait has with the so-called analysts a la Mwenda who praise or speak for backwardness cause by mismanagement of national earnings. Ejakait’s other concern is what King said in these fire spitting words which are fatal and inescable thus: “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now” So to be seen as spokesman for these retrogressive managers annoys those who are on the short-changed end. For example,by whom or why was the railway Kampala-Kasese removed. Who did not advise when it was their duty to do so? There several other run down entities that were helpful to nation and individuals but were left to rot or sold off.

    • Ejakait your personal dislike for M9 seems to cloud your judgement on his arguments. Statistically the between 278 and minor changes in leadership in Africa and other figures he bases his arguments on is significantly relevant.

      • JOKE NET( you are a real joke.) SO even according to your statement the 278 is “significantly relevant”.

        I have no quarrel with you worshiping you idol, M9, your right is guaranteed under freedom of worship in the constitution, just like my right to air my views is guaranteed under freedom of expression.

        Being the JOKE you are, you miss my point by a mile, and surely I doubt you have the brains to comprehend what I was trying to say.

        I will say it , may be for the benefit of others. M9 sets off on a tirade berating the elite and accuses them of lack of in depth analysis.

        “We are too lazy and biased to dig beneath the surface and see the actual dynamics shaping our politics. Most of what we have is not knowledge but prejudice; and what goes for analysis is mere speculation.”

        What better way to show your intellectual laziness than not to be able to analyse and update your own information.

        M 9 could have said there were – more than 100, more than 200, almost 300 ….changes of leaders. In each case he would have been right without being exact. In giving the figure of 278 , he was giving the “impression” that he had done “exhaustive” research and done the figures, country by country and come up with the exact figure, otherwise it must be that he got the figure from somewhere else, maybe a year or so ago and keeps using the same figure despite subsequent changes.

        THAT in my world can not be intellect, and for the same person who accuses others of relying on books by people in the WESTERN world to analyse issues in AFRICA.

    • Caught Mwenda pants down. He has no fire-escape except to apologise or stick to the mistake and make it a truth.

  2. LEADERS , not just AFRICAN, cling on to power for several reasons.

    SOME leaders cling onto power for what it has been able to give them, especially wealth and privileges , which they would not have otherwise been able to get through other means eg business or employment.

    OTHER leaders cling onto power because they are part of a bigger group with their own interests who see the person in power as being the HEADMAN who is able to juggle other factors and then to put them in positions where they are able to fulfill their interests.

    Whichever one of the two and many others, this has been said and demonstrated by other people and is not a new subject deserving of a Phd study.

  3. POWER rightly or otherwise has been described as an INTOXICANT or an OPIATE.

    Most people who go on to become addicts ( alcohol, cigarette, gambling), do not set out to become addicts. They set of with what turns out to be an addiction in small quantities, recreational or even medicinal but slowly and progressively become reliant on the substance or activity, sometimes believing that it is not doing them any harm, that they are in control and know when it is the right time to leave until they become totally hooked to the extent that even medically it is believed that such a person is better off to continue with their addiction as the withdrawal symptoms pose a greater threat.

    POWER is not any different.

    LEADERS who come with the best of intentions, some believing or in reality having done so at a great sacrifice ( of mainly other peoples lives and property) then acquire this sense of entitlement and keep setting this goal after another that they feel they have to achieve, like meeting the next POPE etc etc.

    SOME have done so many bad things, like killing and stealing of public funds that they feel the only protection they have is to stay in power. They will look at examples like ANGOLA where the new leader, hitherto thought to be a close associate of the outgoing leader, has come in with sweeping changes including the removal of the out going presidents family from lucrative positions.

    THIS makes them feel that even guarantees like immunity can not protect them from in coming leaders no matter how close they may be to them at the present time.

  4. LEADERS also cling onto ( or made to ) by other peoples interests, local or foreign.

    M 7 for instance, is in a way the front man for AMERICAN interests in its so called fight against terrorism, at least in AFRICA or the REGION.

    Experiences in the past with the US putting boots on the ground , have not been very pleasant. So if they can find someone else to do that for them, and avoid having to fly body bags home to the US, they are prepared to support that person, regardless what that leader does to his people. They will make all the right noises in terms of condemning human rights abuses, oppression of the opposition and the press, but behind the scenes ,will give their support and not take risks with a new entity coming in, whom they are not sure about.

    LIKEWISE the CHINESE will have their financial interests and will not care how MUGABE stays in power as long as their interests are safe and that future prospects are good.

    There are also the local interests. I have a person whom I know was appointed in the latest cabinet, from a position of virtual obscurity. They have taken on quite ambitious projects in the hope that they will still be in cabinet and therefore earnings and other benefits will enable them to complete their projects. SO how do you tell such a person that M 7 should leave power, even for another person within the party, not knowing if the other person will appoint them to the same position.

    THIS was likewise also played out in the recent FDC elections by the likes of NGANDA. He had previously supported NANDALA against MUNTU in the last contest, but was nonetheless appointed ( rewarded) by MUNTU with the position of the Chief Whip. Could it be said that his support for MUNTU was because of the desire to retain his position, or even be rewarded with a bigger position.

    • A man without principles and will is like a ship without compass; it changes direction with every change of wind. That is your modern politician. Have you heard a politician say”I am a chameleon, I have no permanent friend or permanent enemy” I know you can place a name to the statement. How do you sign an agreement with such a person? And if you do and he reneges, who will be the fool? Come on ejakait, I know you know because we both saw at different times and in numerous places signs that read “Honest is the best Policy” I remember it on Bedford lorries, shop receipts and many other public items had the slogan on them. Write that today and everyone will say you are a liar or naive.
      Ask and answer yourself this question ejakait: If the British had come with bags of gold to Kabalega or Mwanga and openly stated: “we want to exploit your country and your people” would they (Kabalega and Mwanga) have succumbed to greed and handed them the country on a platter?
      What if they do so now?

  5. SO , yes , a leader can be held hostage by other interests . THE likes of KUTEESA are probably happy to let M 7 do all the dirty work, just like your ASKARI braves the cold weather, rain, sleepless nights and the risk of being shot by robbers, while the MUGAGA and family sleep comfortably in their beds. While they reap the benefits. Its called playing SMART.

    M 7 on the other hand is a victim of both. HE loves power and loves it ABSOLUTELY , but is also being held hostage by other peoples interests.

  6. Typical of M9 he makes us privy to info that is exclusive in the olden days the articles were embellished with lines like’the meeting took place in the president’s bedroom and present was …’ he drops a name or two and we the gullible audience fall for the ruse! Fact is the Mu group in africa led their countries down a slippery path with their wrong brand of politics. mugabe mubarak muamar and mobutu. our own mu is well aware of this . if you looked at Augustus Nuwagaba,s recent article in Newvision you should have wonderered what brains like Adam Mugume are putting in to reducuce this glaring economic ditch. If you listen to the Eminent Keith Muhakanizi then you are left in no doubt that we are sunk. M9 and his opinions are what they are polemics! thank you Godfrey kambere

  7. “Therefore, the celebration of Mugabe’s fall by many Zimbabweans, African elites and the Western media is misinformed. Mnangagwa and his conspirators do not represent a transition of power but maintenance of the status quo. Paradoxically, Mrs Grace Mugabe and her confederates in the G40 represented some form of a transition from the old guard in ZANU-PF.”

    PEOPLE sometimes get so desperate or frustrated that they welcome ant change , even if it turns out worse. Who of us between me and you can predict with certainty that the change in ZIMBABWE will be for the worse or better.

    HOW do you explain the people in the TWIN tower attack on say the 30 th floor, intelligent people, knowing that the building was on fire, jumping out of the window. Were they expecting to find the pavement lined with mattresses for them to land, or that the sidewalk would be transformed into a water mass.

    De Klerk was part of the apertheid regime that handed independence and majority rule to the blacks in SOUTH AFRICA, to MANDELA ( the name is not lost on me, just like Gorbachev was part of the USSR regime even though he went on to introduce sweeping changes (glasnost) that led to the break up of the USSR ( freedom for most of the conscripted states) and also the unification of GERMANY.

    And in the BIBLE, SAUL who had been a persecutor of CHRISTIANS went on to become the great apostle PAUL.

    SO let us watch and see what happens in ZIMBABWE.

    • Ejakait, you know as well as I do the difference between a man and his office. Most of these guys you see who turn into what we did not expect or total disappointments are either: (i)serving their egos at expense of their people’s needs (ii) have got where they are after a bargain with king-makers who they owe favours (iii) may have change of heart due to what the people themselves turn out to be (iv) being under influence of wife (see Adam’s case in genesis) (v) degenerate due to longevity of service and chronological age (vi)succumb to new inflated priced toys like kids and buy buy and buy becoming eternally indebted to shylocks (vii) act on totally wrong information and do irreversible damage; then opt to cover-it-up instead of apologising and penalise the liars….. particularly if they are kin (viii) tolerate impunity when their kin err and so other subordinates follow suit. So my Aloet brother, man is so unpredictable that it is only safe if he would be a referee with linesmen with equal powers and stick to rules like ‘electric circuits’ and wiring… where opinions and other personal initiatives should be indulged in at risk of being fired,fined or rebuked. Authority should only be permitted for a special purpose and for some time with a starting date and ending date specified and written down. Else people will be called citizens while they are actually subjects,slaves or even property of the driver. Another issue people seem not to notice is that leaders of nations work more than a human being was meant to. So they should never ever be left on their own for longer than is essential.

  8. Dear Andrew,
    Please verify your info before you go to press. Your article contains several “fake news” items which you could have verified before publishing this article. For example you state in the chart above that Mugabe crashed the revolt by Ndebele people which is patently false. Mugabe murdered his political opponents who included all tribes, not just the Ndebele people. Another false narrative in your article is that Morgan Tsvangrai led a party called “Movement for Multiparty Democracy in Zimbabwe”. There has never been such a party in Zimbabwe!! I could go on disecting the untruths in your article but I will stop here as I think I have made my point:stop spreading fake news!

  9. This is what happens when some full of l know guy tries to act all smart. There was no Ndebele resistance. You are pathetic for calling heinous crimes that. The army went to butcher 20000 unarmed women and children and old man. Most buried alife or burnt in houses alife. Father were forced to murder their on children. Mothers were forced to sleep with their sons in front of everyone. You are so pathetic Mwenda. Please stop.To demonstrate how shallow you are. David Coltart was not in MDC Tsvangirayi party in 2008. That’s a lie. In any case even if he was how cld he claim to know the results which the electoral body had not yet announced. If Mugabe is yr hero you are welcome to make him president of your country not Zimbabwe. His wife has decimated villagers in Mazowe and you think she is good… You can have her too. Mwenda your lack of facts is abysmal. It’s so so pathetic. Your article is just a disgrace. Try some research please.

    • Kantry Zimb, your anger is justified if my guess is correct (that you are Zimbabwean). What Mwenda says is what he read and what he read is an in-put of who wrote; while who wrote what Mwenda read and took for factual truth may have been as misled or intended to mislead. Mwenda has miserably failed to outgrow fact-finding short-fall; for which I have seen complaints in this column. If he were a journalist in the early seventies in Uganda, he would have been the first to write,confirm and even give numbers of those Amin ate…. including his beloved son Moses who we saw 2 years later after newspapers had reported him dead eaten and forgotten. Mwenda will have to audit his style, revisit his methods and defend his integrity and reputation because it can go down the drain in a minute yet it took decades of sleepless nights to build. Particularly in matters as sensitive as touching to genocide and other murders where people lose their loved ones, it requires extra caution or complete abstaining other than reporting a half-truth. Some people become irreparably offended. Like I said one time, if Mwenda continues to erode this publication’s repute and accuracy, we can take it from him. There are many ways to skin a cat.

  10. There are a lot of factual inconsistencies in the article. I feel the author purports to know Zimbabwe politics yet he knows nothing. I wonder how in these days of Internet someone can publish blatant lies. How on earth did this article pass the editor’s desk? I don’t even know where to start in disputing your ‘facts’.

    • History teacher Kasec

      How I wish Mr Mwenda would be given the opportunity to explicitly explains the details in politics and economics to Our African leaders. I think some would like to see a South Korea in Africa but they are out touch, opposition will be more of the same, we are in dare neeed of service delivery than political bickering.

    • But the writer is editor/owner so noone vets his writs. when he writes it is called the Last Word. You can only correct,criticise or negate it here in this column of comments.

  11. This article clearly justifies the reason why most of us ( Zimbabwean academics) do not comment of Ugandan politics because we are in a way divorced of what is obtaining there. Your analysis is light years from being factual if anything this pseudo intellectual of events in Zimbabwe, exposes how shallow you critique is. Until you acquaint yourself with Zim politics, you will fare better and perhaps maintain a modicum of decency if you keep in your lane!

  12. PROF CHANGAMIRE, you have said exactly what I said to a one SASHA (sasha) who was a regular on this forum, a self confessed admirer of M 9, who by her own admission had never set foot in UGANDA but who wanted to pass herself off as an expert on all matters UGANDA, at one point even calling me a liar over statements that I made, which to the best of my knowledge were factual and verifiable.(UGANDAS MISGUIDED DEBATE 25/09/2017)

    YES, we can at times be able to comment on issues related to other countries, and in this category I would put the likes of ONYANGO OBBO when he comments on KENYAN issues, but one has to be careful how far they go unless they are relying on other people who have an intimate knowledge of those countries and the goings on thereof.

    • Like when Kakyama comments on Rwanda and Kagame yet he was last there in 1994.

      • And believe me , much as I was always on the cautious side, one of my biggest lessons was from none other than your esteemed self.

        It was in relation to remark I made about the dairy industry in KENYA and how much Mzee MOIS policy on supplying milk to schools had helped it, and you came out and told me how much , regardless of the good intentions, of a shambles it was.

        THE GANDA say ” gakuwebwa munno, neweyita omugezi” in my and your lingo meaning, the advise given by a friend, you go on to give others as if it was your own wisdom.

  13. OLD man of NYANGOLE, nice to hear from you, was just wondering where you were leaving me to battle with some of these upstarts who I have said severally that they will be the doom of this beloved country, let alone the planet.

    TO me , you are the proverbial “fat lady” and as they say , all is not over til she sings, infact if the name is not patented , you are in deed ” the last word”, but just not to be seen in that quagmire, yours could be “the first word” or indeed if no blasphemous “the word”.

    I think you have upgraded yourself from just a Xmas card list to a Xmas present list.

    • we try ejakait. it is incumbent on we elders to educate these youth who think they have seen it all otherwise we betray posterity by not pointing out pit-falls on the path. what pains me most is these knowers who are as elderly as us and have the control of the resources but are messing. A person who was beneficiary to good administration, got first-class education (because that is what Ug education system was in the 60s and 70s), was served by the best disciplined civil service in youth,was sponsored to study in a foreign University, given even drinking money (read boom), came back to choose between jobs and personally chose the one closest to his heart (read State House), then despite having taken a rough route to reach power, why can’t he remember and reciprocate? Nothing pains me more than remembering that Nyangole fed me better than any 5 star hotel ( and I mean it and can prove) yet I look on as it decays while those who are supposed to overhaul it are misusing funds. That is why I have been exhorting Mwenda to talk to his Dad before publishing a controversial piece.

  14. Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi

    Friends on this column,
    It is difficult to resist the temptation to ‘pin’ Mwenda on his glaring mess up with statistics in this particular article -especially when he is (rightly) blaming us ‘African intellectuals/academics’ for “laziness”. The problem – as I see it – seems to be his guilt on uncritical self plagiarism. Parts of his article are a recycle of what he has told us before. This would not be an ‘intellectual sin’ if he declared so, and updated his figures. Failure to do so is unfortunately one of the symptoms of intellectual degeneracy (which I hate to imagine of him).
    That said, I think – rightly or wrongly – Africa’s political problems have more to do with the way our societies regard and reward different human activities. We seem to value ‘influence peddling’ and ‘politicking’ much more than other more deserving activities: specifically, those which create tangible knowledge, services and products. A researcher/inventor say of ‘local’ ‘Tear Gas’ at MUK is widely ‘cursed’ but the applier/user and ‘victim’ of the ‘imported’ more lethal variant are praised and rewarded accordingly. The result of such behaviour is that “any fool” (words of one young South African politician – and possible future president) heads into politics. Even, some would be thinkers and real doers like Rugunda, Besigye, etc. follow suit, abandoning really more worthy activities. And in the company of real ignoramus like K-t- Lu–a-a, etc., they can neither think nor act properly in the new environment!
    Well, that’s what I think (and have said so before).
    Cheers,
    Dr. Eng. Kant Ateenyi – Cape Town

    • Dr Ateenyi, Mwenda is so high up there that,like the sun, any small stain on/by/at him becomes instantly apparent. I at times rebuke myself (privately like all elders) for being mad at him. However, to err is human and whoever DOES (do) regularly as he (Mwenda) will err. Another issue I have noticed is his reliability on statistics and ‘historical cooked facts’. Statistics are good and at times informative but they are misleading in some cases. If Mwenda was in school during our time when we had only 2 girls in S5 Arts and Mr Teacher married 1 of the girls, a statistician wrote 50% of the girls (plural) were married by teachers(plural) again. So Mwenda like the reader he is will insist on the statistician’s facts. When the math adds up, the numbers never lie. They’re infallible, concrete, impossible to argue with — however the stastician spinned.

  15. 1.My Darling Andrew you as usual 100% accurate when you say Africa should rethink her political strategy.I have always asked myself who is the biggest beneficiary to Africa’s mess.Back then,The current 1st world nations always went to war with the intention of attaining business opportunities,spreading religion and capturing more territories but when a 3rd world country is at war just know its coz of politics.
    2.Why do you think M7 is having a field day in Ug? its coz the 1st world can always count on him and his foreign policy is good he gives business deals to Asia,Europe,Russia and USA.
    3.Mugabe’s big headedness and refusal to be a puppet to the 1st world cost Zimbabwe alot just imagine if fellow Africans can laugh at Zimbabwe then you know the situation is bad.
    4. The young generation should give the old ones a break.1st of all the current HIV statistics indicates that most youth have HIV so when will they rule Ug?
    5.Trump was right to have declared Jerusalem the Capital City of Israel but i dont know why the Vatican is not supporting Trump they will make us start believing what is in the Da Vinci Code.i thought historically for Christians Jerusalem is more important than Vatican.
    6.USA has always abided by rules of Christianity for example the song the Battle Hymn of the Repubic was composed after the Civil War.
    7.@ Rwasubutare;normally genuine statistics are generated after a research and a study has been conducted.

    • But did teachers marry 50% of their students Winnie. I did not say statistics lie. I said “the numbers never lie. They’re infallible, concrete, impossible to argue with — however the stastician spinned.” You girl you have made do things I always criticise Adhola for…. quoting his own ancient errors as facts.

  16. I totally see nothing wrong with Mwenda’s article, he is simply giving “alternative facts.” In other words, he’s thinking outside the conventional realm, put it: “outside the box.” Forgive me if you think I’ve gone nuts but it’s the “new normal.” Who needs a better attorney????

  17. I was last in Rwanda on the 4th/12/2017, and I had my prayers (Swalah) at a mosque just next to the Ministry of Health where I also met a Ugandan lecturer at a nearby University. I am returning to Rwanda in the next few days:- just so that you know.

    • “I totally see nothing wrong with Mwenda’s article……” Now that he has mentioned anything to do with Rwanda or Kagame being good, how can you see any wrong? I go by your first sentence….not that I can’t see the satirical remark you are driving at. As for being in Rwanda this December, it is probable, 23 years being a long time….. that deals with memories of people and anyway you will have changed everything, name,language, whole identity.

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